8 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
36 Ratings
36 Ratings
markdyal ,

An apology to Loscil

For almost ten years I have been listening to Loscil and have enjoyed, or been expanded by, every moment. Yet for some reason I always considered him somehow less than Mille Plateaux, 12k, or Raster-based artists like Tim Hecker, GAS, Shuttle358, or Taylor Deupree. Well, no more! I now feel it the other-way-around - in truth, the only one of the aforementioned artists that is similar to Loscil in mood and tone is Shuttle. For those of you who, like me, adore anything Dan Abrams does but cannot bear the distance between releases, Loscil is just for you. Everything he does is golden, yet Endless Falls is not only singular for Loscil but the myriad of genres he encompasses therein. An extraordinary release.

Headphone Commute ,

Headphone Commute Review

It begins and ends with rain. But when the waterfalls subside, a picturesque landscape reveals itself through haze and fog. Vast fields of textural sound unfold beneath the soaring heights, with a slight pulse of bass vibrations, originating from the unexplored depths, and an echoing muffled synth line, dying in the cavernous emptiness of this landscape. With a microscopic nod to dub, Loscil weaves sonic parachutes that lift up beyond the clouds and slowly coast down to earth, only to have it curve beneath them, in an endless fall. Endless Falls is Scott Morgan's fifth full length album on Chicago's Kranky, not counting the digital freebie, Stases, released out by a net-label, One. Endless Falls also comes on the heels of Strathcona Variations digital EP, released by Ghostly International in October 2009. I was sure that the follow-up full length was going to be put out by Ghostly as well. But, alas, Morgan returns to Kranky, which has been the home for his last four albums, Triple Point (2001), Submers (2002), First Narrows (2004) and Plume (2006). Since Plume, Morgan has been busy developing his ambient soundscapes, complimenting looped drones with subliminal melodies and modulated bass. The intricately designed dense textures wrap one's unoccupied consciousness in melancholy, sadness and reflection. The mood fluctuates the listener from wakefulness to hypnotic dream states, crackling and clicking with stripped down rhythms and wet minor pads. On the last nine minute piece, "The Making Of Grief Point", Morgan features a long spoken word piece by Daniel Bejar (member of indie band, Destroyer, for which Morgan plays the drums and saxophone), delivered softly and deliberately, over a pulsing tone and walking synth notes through an unresolved chord. This is the first time Loscil brings vocals of any kind into his work. About this choice, Scott Morgan states: "The collaboration with Dan made us both incredibly nervous. Dan felt out of his element doing 'spoken word' but rose to the challenge. I felt self-conscious about changing the listening perspective from abstract, ambient music into foreground, conscious listening. The first time I heard Dan's voice recording I was terrified and was tempted to call the whole thing off. I listened to it a few more times and it completely grew on me. Now I can't imagine that piece without his performance. I love Dan's use of words, his vocal rhythms and the intimate intensity of his voice." Additional collaborators on the album include the return of Jason Zumpano on piano, Kim Koch on strings and Robert Sparks on bass recorder. Scott's four year old daughter, Sadie, is responsible for providing the cover art for the album, taken from the backseat of the family car. Check out an interview with the photographer on Loscil's Blog. Endless Falls is incredibly gorgeous, sublime and subtle yet precise. Recommended for fans of Pole and Gas, as well as Stars of the Lid, Christopher Bissonnette and Tim Hecker. "The answer to the making of grief point is picnic baskets filled with blood."

Austinlb ,

Lateral Move

I'm a crazy Loscil fan, having been turned onto his music with "First Narrows" and then bought everything. Every time I launch iTunes, I check to see if he's got something new. (When will iTunes figure out that it could do this FOR me?) Honestly, "Endless Falls" is just okay -- familiar atmospherics with textures that come and go, closer to "Submers" than anything else. I miss the percussive power and sharper moods of "First Narrows" and "Plume" (the high-water mark). This feels *easy* to Loscil and I want him to push himself more. This album could have been made 10 years ago. There's no news in it, and for such a talented, unique artist, I'm disappointed. I bought the damn thing anyway.

About Loscil

Born in Canada, Scott Morgan apparently appropriated his Loscil alter ego from the operation code within the sound synthesis system Csound. Although he admits he rarely actually uses Csound to create his compelling minimalist recordings, he asserts that looping and oscillating are the basics of his music-making process. Loscil's debut, Triple Point, was named after the scientific term for the temperature where a material can exist with its solid, liquid, and gas phases all in equilibrium. Based on a collection of demos entitled A New Demonstration of Thermodynamic Tendencies, the album takes the titles of its minimalist dub/techno/ambient-inspired tracks from the language of thermodynamics, the science that investigates the conversion of heat into mechanical force or energy and vice-versa. However, Morgan has confessed that track titles such as "Hydrogen," "Enthalpy," and "Discrete Entrophy" were lifted from a book bought in a second-hand store and "presented as a sort of false document on thermodynamics" rather than having an explicit correlation with the music.

Morgan studied music at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, facilitating the musician's exposure to 20th century experimental composers like John Cage and Stockhausen (while, incongruously, Morgan simultaneously played drums for a series of indie bands). Drawing stated influence from contemporary post-techno musicians such as Oval and Wolfgang Voigt's Gas, as well as early electronic music pioneers such as Brian Eno and Raymond Scott, Triple Point's fluctuating tones and pulses are explicitly intended to drift between the intuitive and the intellectual. Perhaps echoing descriptions of Loscil's music as deep and oceanic, the follow-up, Submers, looked to underwater craft for its emotional and thematic coherence. Each of the track titles was named after a submarine, such as "Argonaut I," "Nautilus," and "Le Plongeur." The release closed with a touching requiem for the crew of ill-fated Russian nuclear vessel Kursk. For 2004's First Narrows, which was inspired in part by the first gap in the entrance to the Burrard Inlet, Morgan collaborated with other musicians, an approach he repeated for 2006's Plume.

Released in 2010, Endless Falls was another step forward, featuring vocals courtesy of his Destroyer bandmate Dan Bejar on its final track, while 2012's Sketches from New Brighton took its name from an oceanside park in Vancouver that was considered to be the city's birthplace. The following year, Morgan collaborated with pianist Kelly Wyse on Intervalo, a reworking of several Sketches from New Brighton tracks and lesser-known pieces. Along with a split EP with Fieldhead, Loscil also released Sea Island in 2014, which reunited Morgan with Wyse and drew inspiration from the isle that is home to Vancouver's international airport. In 2015, Loscil released the For Greta EP, a release inspired by and benefiting a friend's daughter suffering from bone cancer, and the interactive smartphone EP Adrift, which incorporates the elements of each track differently each time the EP is played. A warped VHS copy of Koyaanisqatsi, as well as the writing of philosopher John Gray and the photography of Edward Burtynsky, helped shape Morgan's vision for 2016's somber full-length Monument Builders. Under the moniker Loscil Sound Design, Morgan creates interactive music and sound design for websites and film and video projects. ~ John Bush

HOMETOWN
Canada

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